It's for New Yorkers that are displaced, forced to move for some reason. The article provides a list of different places in North America and the area of NYC they most resemble.
Me? Right now I would choose Montreal. It's a lot like New York but the people enjoy life a lot more while still getting things done. If I wanted something with a faster pace than Montreal, I would choose Madrid. For something more laid back, San Juan. But if forced to choose today, it would definitely be Montreal even with my little to no French skills.
RESHARE: Because +P E Sharpe told me to and +Rory Swan apparently gets sentimental when he's loaded — shrug — who knew?
As I close a full year on Google+ I look through my circles and realize that there are a core of you who have each helped make 2012 a good year for me. I'm thankful we've become a part of each other's lives. Have a healthy and prosperous 2013.
+1, reshare and tag your friends so we all make it to What's Hot together... and likely annoy the crap out of everyone in the process.
+Jack Hardman because revenge. +Dirk Reul because he's inevitably in all of these. and here are a few more in no particular order:
Reshared text: To all the wonderful People I have met in 2012 you have no idea how much you mean to me.. The changes I have made in life as a result of meeting you all is almost impossible to but into words..
My G+ peeps I am glad that I met each and every one of you..
I just need you all to +1, re-share and tag your friends into this post so I can make it to What's hot so we can all know how much we care about each other..
I have a thing for volcanos. I've never been near one and they sorta fascinate me. Make me tremble with awe and all that stuff. I would love to see one. If anyone is interested, my birthday is this summer. That's still enough time to get me a volcano. I'll worry about where to put it. Bayonne maybe? Nobody's using that space ;-)
“And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say - that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then - the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of TEN Grinches, plus two!”
Arguably the most human of holiday stories. A confounded curmudgeon stares down at a community singing hand in hand after having every trimming and morsel stolen from them. It is the only part of this season I still hold true.
So I extend my hand to each of you, my community, with love and appreciation for the song you bring out in me.
Recycled Paper Shopping Bags Seem Pointless When Filled With Plastic
I'm not off to a good start with my New Year's resolution to reduce the plastic we consume. I spent twice as long shopping at Trader Joe's today, wandering through aisles, putting things in my basket and then taking them back out. As hard as this may seem to believe, what you see in this photograph took a lot of effort to achieve.
What I really need to do is take my own advice and not try to eliminate a bad habit but develop a good one that will replace it. Looking at these items there are at least a few that I could make at home on a Sunday afternoon. Maybe this new habit of consuming less plastic would be better served if I modified it to making more things at home.
US High Speed Rail System Proposal Map Design by Alfred Twu
There is currently a petition for the White House to implement a national high speed rail system connecting all of the major metropolitan areas, as well as surrounding localities with additional, albeit slower, lines.
Some of the highlights include: - New York to Boston in 60 minutes - New York to Los Angeles within a day - Various connections to Canada and Mexico
I think guys are hot, gorgeous, beautiful. All kinds of men but I certainly have preferences just as I do with women. I'm not bisexual or even lean in that direction. I'm pretty straight in my sexual preferences. I still think Khal Drogo is one steaming hot bottle of man sauce.
I can still enjoy it when a man flirts with me or asks me out as I can when women do the same. It's flattering. I feel good and let people know I appreciate it. Yes, I'm married. Yes, I will tell my wife. Yes, we're fine with it. Yes, we're monogamous. …and, yes, all those things apply equally with her. No, it shouldn't matter. These are healthy, good things that are some of the best of what makes us human.
When ComiXology finally released a statement saying that it was they and not Apple who decided to keep Saga's 12th issue out of their store, it still wasn't clear why they did so. What they did want to make clear was that it was in no way related to the fact that there are two small depictions of male, gay sex on the first pages. Color me skeptical being a reader of the series who has been seeing material just as explicit (if not more) up until last week.
I don't know what makes gay, male sex more offensive to some people. Is it just seeing two men together? Is it two men showing affection in an intimate way? Is it seeing men enjoying sex with one another?
In this specific case, I think it may be that last one. With attractive females kissing on main stream TV being deemed acceptable and attractive, I think we still have big gaps of willful ignorance when in regards to male sexuality. I think we have issues with men being vulnerable in that way. Many are still uncomfortable with men exposing their genuine urges honestly without pretense or machismo with other women but DEFINITELY with another man. (Though I think a show like True Blood has helped challenge that thinking even if it's limited to premium cable.)
You shouldn't read Saga because of the nudity and sex it contains. While I think it does it in a very healthy and honest way with a good dose of humor, that's not what makes the series so damn good. It's taking one of the oldest stories (Romeo & Juliet), flipping it on it's head and saying: "What if these two lovers from rival races decided to live and fight to stay together." Read Saga because of the imaginative worlds and races. Read Saga because of the art and fantastic characters. Just go pick issue one and keep going. But whatever you do, even if you don't like comics, go read Saga.
Freedom is found in restrictions while conveniences often complicate.
I haven't driven since before the storm when I filled my gas tank. It had been a month prior to that since the last time I was at a service station. Granted, living in an urban area gives us the luxury of not driving but not this much. As someone who enjoys getting in the car for a road trip to dropping Jen off at work, it's surprising how little I miss driving. It's also surprising how less stressful life is when you're not fighting traffic.
The backpack? Yes, that's new. It carries a full shopping basket (about two brown shopping bags) and I broke it in today since my single strap wasn't giving me the capacity to make it practical. Right now the only usable market is ShopRite since all the other bodegas and grocery stores lost their inventory with this power outage.
Shopping this way helps me focus on what we actually need and reduces impulse buying. Even when I take my car for groceries, I walk in with a basket and no more. Less food is wasted at home and money from our wallets. The 15-20 minute walk each way is nice and gives me another opportunity to look for photographs with my camera, do some thinking, or even if only for the added exercise. Once the markets down along the river open up I can take my bike for some added, blood pumping Hunter Gathering.
This is a fun project that reminds me of all the great educational shorts I watched as a kid during Sesame Street or Electric Company. It's also a great example of taking a simple idea and rewarding yourself with a fun body of work at the end of a year.
I love our connected, digital world. Up until recently, I worked as an interactive designer and art director. There has been a deep satisfaction creating utilities that improved processes for clients.
I loved nearly everything that came with that world until last week when it betrayed me as it did many of us here in the Tri-State area. Electricity, our hyper-connected world and all it's physical conduits abandoned us. The storm that came and went in a single night created millions of electronic orphans. No virtual homes to run to, all the playgrounds and office suites evaporating along with them.
During the storm and following days without power or working heat, I grew incredibly frustrated with all the little gadgets. More accurately, I was angry with myself for having become so reliant on these poor plastic and glass paperweights. Hating myself for feeling the ache of loss in my center. I felt caught by surprise in a twisted world where the Atlas who shrugged wasn't made up of self-important tycoons but a collective of digital services piggybacking on a single gorgeous, violently temperamental element.
Last week was, among a few other things, disorienting. One of the dangers about being a 'Moody Art Person' is the pensiveness that comes with it. I use danger in it's good and bad contexts. It's dangerous to break new ground, to risk failure but we need it to grow. It's also dangerous to get addicted to the risk itself and, eventually, the inevitable failures that come with each instance.
I think I have lived most of my life enjoying taking risks. An officemate of mine, after my first few years at MTV, told me: "You don't just burn bridges, you need to stand in the fucking middle and toss a stick of dynamite at each end." That was true of me for a long while. Just when something is near being complete, the time approaching to enjoy the fruits of time and labor, I blow it up. Since I was a boy. I would be angry if an outside force tore something I was making down, yet would rebuild it only to do the same myself.
So this storm and I recognized each other. I went out every day last week. I walked in a different direction each time for hours. While I took a few photos, most of the time I forgot I even had a camera. I found comfort in seeing people figure out what to do. The frustration, confusion and poking around to see what was still good or needed to be thrown away all felt... right.
A desire for changes had been building up. A need to tear down everything just to see what would be left standing and with those few, move in a new direction. A small, familiar effort becoming the sturdy spine of simple and elegant creativity in the face of violent winds.
On that second day, after getting out early and walking about seeing the panic building up over food and gas, I went back home. We still have a lot of open space that remains without a definitive plan. That day I took one of those spaces outside our terrace doors where the most sunlight enters our home and, using a leftover roll of masking paper from painting the rooms, turned the floor into a large sketchpad.
I had a new logo project that I was due to begin work on for an organization called 'CHISPA'. Ironically, chispa is Spanish for the lively, vivacious spark in us. This act was lighting my creative life spark in a way that I had not experience in a while.
Unrestrained by a superficial connection to a digital self that had superseded who I am and lifted by a beautiful mess of paper washed in sunlight stretched across our tables and floors, I created. Nothing came between the surface and beginnings of ideation. A wave of thought and scribbles pouring over every inch of seemingly limitless paper. The sun reawakened a deep appreciation like a hot bath after a long, cold hike.
After some time in this intimate communal event, we spoke: "Where have you been? You've been missed but we were always here waiting" "I remember now. — Home."
Have a great, productive week. Luis
* If you received a notification and would like to be removed please let me know. If you would like to be added to my 'Ready Set Monday!!!' posts let me know as well.
Went chocolate shopping this afternoon and hauled in a bag of Nunu chocolate buttons in the Union Square outdoor market. Nunu is a company from Brooklyn and while they didn't have an 85% dark chocolate, the 70% will go nicely with a cup of coffee.
On my way back from the Strand, I stopped in Max Brenner, Chocolate By The Bald Man and picked up this bar as well as a tin of dark chocolate thins with West African Cocoa bits.
I spent more money on chocolate than books (why I was in Union Square).
RESHARE: A fantastic start to 2013 with a great, inspiring quote from Neil Gaiman. I'm excited to be a part of the Creative 365 project and community.
Reshared text: 01Jan2013 001/365
I was looking for a way to start my new year of a photo a day, and came across this quote by Neil Gaiman.
"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself."
It resonated, so I wrote it out for myself. And this is the result. :)
What Community will you be joining or starting up?
Some highlights of the new Google+ Communities: Public or private membership to support all kinds of groups—from topics and interests to local neighborhoods to regular poker nights
Discussion categories to find the conversations you care about most
The option to start hangouts and plan events with community members
The ability to share with your community from any +1 button across the web
* The other cool news is the launch of Snapseed on Android, the great photography app from Nik Software. My initial thoughts are that this will be the move that makes taking and sharing photos from my phone what I've wanted for a while. It will be the experience other photo sharing social apps have not been for me: Great quality photo software and a strong community.
Because I don't think we visit each other's profiles enough here's mine:
• Create with my favorite pen, camera and text editor. • Live a productive, bold life filled with vivid images. • Run city streets fueled by coffee and dark chocolate. • Engage, love and laugh with every person my lifetime will allow.
A School of Visual Arts graduate, I began my design career at MTV Networks creating interactive pieces and information graphics before leaving as an art director to open my own studio.
When I'm not creating images for my clients, it's likely I'm out with my camera, sketchbook, planning my next travel destination or meal with the people I love.
One of the privileges of graphic design is being the conduit to different forms such as photography and illustration with typography being our unique identifier. We're the messengers delivering timely, meaningful images that connect ideas to people and together striking forward. To watch the singular human experience of a message passed from person to person, group to group all lit by a catalyst of your own making is humbling. When the last embers of the torch fade, I want to do it all over again.
RESHARE: I guess I have a lot to say about the subject. In some ways my critique isn't fair. It's a lot to ask of a community where you didn't know anyone going in… but being fair can't factor into my decisions on how I participate here as both a professional and enthusiast of the visual arts.
Here's my original reply. For anyone interested, read P E's post and a number of the comments. Understand these critiques are coming from people who want(ed) to make time to be here and have this be a successful community of professional artists:
I've said this before but will again here and it is brutally honest: Google+ lacks the diversity and developed taste that is easier to find on other networks. I'm not saying there is a single, strict type that the average user fits but more a limited set of types that one meets more often than not. The former heavily influences the latter and it's why far less attention is given to good work whether it's your own or something you are sharing.
I simply don't think this network provides the tools or context for independent, professional visual artists focusing on the work vs. the branding of an online personality. We have plenty of people who have been doing well at selling an overall brand from cooks, to photographers to writers. But if you look closer, the work is nothing special no matter how many people here say so within the vacuum.
That does happen on other networks but those (I'm not simply comparing to Facebook but Twitter, Wordpress, Tumblr etc.) have a few things that Google+ STILL does not have for me:
- Plenty of good professional art and design from excellent sources. - Those sources coming here FIRST rather than posting a summary of what has already been shared elsewhere a week or two later. - Access to the people driving that content - Conversations and interactions that help make one another better, especially when it comes to critiquing but also speaking the language. - An honest love for good art and design
That last one is important to define. Too many times I see this resentment/disdain/whatever for professional designers and artists here. People talking about making their own rules because those communities are closed and elitist (this perspective goes back to the issue of diversity). That is true in some ways of the art world but not for the reasons some people here think.
IOW: Professional artists aren't being snobs about your work, you are just not good. And you know what? People need to hear that. That artist needs to hear it and others listening in do as well. Because if you continue to celebrate the mediocre, that is all you will ever be and see here. Good taste begins by tossing out what doesn't work and a desire to always be better.
Good taste takes a long time to develop. Spotting talent is a career on its own. This place simply doesn't have the mind share and framework (at least not yet) to facilitate that and the few who have stepped up either get ignored or called an [sic] elitist.
It's not my job to help teach the population of a social network good taste or add great content. Those both took me a long time and continue to be an ongoing process for me to add another huge task of being some kind of evangelist for it on a social network.
Reshared text: GOOGLE PLUS IS NOT SOCIAL
Stop pretending. Google Plus as a whole is a LIBRARY with benefits. It's not designed to be social in the same way as other social networks, so stop trying. Google is a research/search engine, remember? It's in the business of information gathering and exchange, G+ is an extension of that same formulation of thinking.
That being said, Hangouts, as part of GPlus, are social. They are where you go to have a snack or a beer and hangout with your research buddies; the last thing y'all want to talk about is work unless you are using them for work purposes, in which case SUCKS TO BE YOU.(j/k). Hangouts On Air are a voyeur's paradise. Use your manners when entering any hangout for the first time, never show your genitals without being asked, mute yourself if you're gassy or making other kinds of noise and things should go swimmingly.
How do I use G+? I show up and talk to other people instead of waiting for replies to my posts. If what I post is of interest to others, great. If not, I've built my own resource centre using my own interests as the motivator.
G+ is not a waiting room, it's a library, so get up off your virtual chair and make the effort to plus a post or make a comment on someone else's profile. Without making an effort there will be no reward in the form of interaction. Hint: you are not the only introvert in town hiding behind your keyboard. Your intellect and how you use it to discuss the things that are important to you is your primary introduction to others on G+.
C'mon over. If you talk to me or respond in some way to my posts either here or on someone else's post I'll notice, I'll go see what you bring to the network I've built and if your posts are of interest I'll circle you back. If you haven't filed out your 'about me' page or posted a recent photo of yourself you will never end up in my circles.
I came here with 0 connections, 0 followers, my sole ambition was to build a network of art-related like-minded people with whom I could have a conversation. Now I have a surfeit of all kinds of interesting things to read and comment on in my streams any time of day or night from the people I've circled, and I've hung out with all kinds of people I would never have met otherwise, and my interests have grown beyond my initial agenda. I've learned so much about so many interesting things from others.
If I can do it, so can you. It's really that simple.
Younger Americans Read, Go to the Library and Prefer Print Books Over Digital... There is hope for the human race yet.
More than eight in ten Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 read a book in the past year, and six in ten used their local public library. At the youngest end of the spectrum, high schoolers in their late teens (ages 16-17) and college-aged young adults (ages 18-24) are especially likely to have read a book or used the library in the past 12 months.
Touching Me, Touching You My 25 most relevant, funny, creative, smart, compassionate people... and me. Otherwise known as who Google says I talk, stalk and balk at the most. If today is your first day on Google+, these people would be a great eclectic bunch to start interacting with and plussing. If today is not your first day on Google+, you likely have all these people circled. In that case, as you were.
* Note: I have a handful of people who I know like to stay private but should be in this circle.
Took my next step at reducing our carbon footprint today with a 14 mile bike ride for groceries. All this sustainable living makes me sore, but including traveling on Thanksgiving to my sister's, we're still running on the same tank of gas I filled before Sandy.
Along with this recent move to a more pedestrian friendly neighborhood and two planned trips by rail, we'll have taken the most significant steps in our life to living a little more responsibly. — The added benefits of cost and stress reduction are nice too. :-)
We were offered a rescued Australian Shepherd puppy last night at a friend's party.
Challenge No.1: The puppy seems to not have her hearing. Challenge No.2: Getting Jen to agree. She's surprisingly willing to consider. Challenge No.3: The normal logistics that come with a new family member.
After sleeping on it, I'm finding myself wanting this dog more. I think it would be good for our home.
#Ingress Tip When locating portals at public facilities such as a fire house, library or post office, use headphones. Otherwise Sexy Computer Voice Lady will shout out: "TARGET IN RANGE"
Unless you would like to end your day being interrogated by Homeland Security or other government law enforcement agency and see just how far this game goes. Let the rest of us know how that works out for you. (-:
What Does 'Engager' Mean On Google+? The link below is to a circle of the top 1000 most engaging people on G+ and/or top Gplussers in the world. It was created, in part, using the metrics done by +CircleCount. Of course, you will likely have some of the people in your circles and, in fact, many are engaging, they engage or they write posts that engage an audience.
But which defines being an Engager let alone one of the Top Engagers of Google Plus? I see people who rarely interact with their circles post after post. I also see people who post great content that gets a good conversation going and they dive right in with everyone else... but not that many. I'm also not seeing people who seem to fit both the metric used and jump in with their circlers to discuss on their threads as well as others.
Is Engager the most misused term here on Google Plus?
Deleting Facebook and Transitioning to a Complete Google Presence This has been coming for a while (since the second day I rejoined Facebook a few months back.) This latest wave modifying their terms and Instagram's is simply the excuse I needed. Below is part of what I left for family and close friends:
Deleted my Instagram account. I'll be doing the same with Facebook in the next few weeks. I want to give everyone time to figure out how they would like to connect with me outside of here.
I came back on here almost entirely for the purpose of sharing photos with family and close friends who don't use other social networks. I've also posted some of my own photography when asked. Aside from having too many of these social networking accounts I am not agreeable to the terms which Facebook places on images that are mine.
I have been steadily moving to streamline my presence online. By the New Year, the only accounts that will be actively used will be on Twitter, Flickr and my entire Google presence. I don't plan on deleting all my other accounts unless they too decide to go down a similar road as Facebook. They will simply go dormant.
Two major points pushing me to do all of this:
1. My time is the most valuable thing I have. The internet is valuable but if and when it begins impeding on other high value activities, changes need to be made. Google offers the best integrated approach between its services making socializing and professional networking frictionless.
2. It's my work, my content, I decide how and when it will be used. As a creator, I find it highly offensive that I should simply accept that something I spent time making doesn't belong to me and can be used as others see fit with no accountability. I realize there are compromises that I must make online and I choose Google because of their transparency.
In the coming weeks I'll be sharing some of what I'm doing to make this transition better for me and, I believe, everyone else.
"the galaxies projected within and without: absolute space and absolute time. I want to share with you the stars contained by the new souls of my race, humanity, in its infancy. Let me show you something electromagnetic. Let me take you to the place where Their dreamscapes and Our reality exchange glances. Let me help you remember."
Way Better than Wonder Bread Also known as Best White Bread Ever
The following recipe is word for word, the first one I ever used when I started learning to bake bread. While this is not what you would do to make fancy baguettes or boules, it really does make the best sandwich bread and morning toast. It was passed on to me by another bread baking enthusiast who got it from another friend. Unfortunately I don't know the original author of the recipe, but here it is:
I've been making two loaves of this stuff a week since I got the recipe a few months ago, and we eat both loaves in a week. That's how good it is. They also actually last a week without going all dry and stale, which is pretty good longevity. You need: • 2.25 tsp yeast (one packet) in 1/2 cup warm water • 1 cup warm water (in addition to the water above) • 3 Tbsp sugar • 3 Tbsp Crisco or vegetable shortening (not butter, oil, or anything else. Vegetable shortening is far better. Believe me) • 1 Tbsp salt (a whole tablespoon, this is also important) • 1 cup milk warmed to the temp of the water • 5 - 5.5 cups flour You do: After the yeast blooms a little bit in the 1/2 cup of water, mix it with the rest of the water, sugar, and milk. If you have a mixer with a bread hook, this is a good time to use it. Otherwise just use a bowl and a sturdy spoon. Add 3 cups of flour and the shortening and salt, and mix well. You should have a thick paste. Give it a good beating, you want to get some little air bubbles started in there for the yeast to blow its gasses into.
Add two more cups of flour and mix. At this point you should have something doughy, but probably sticky. Turn it out onto your floured surface and start kneading, adding flour just until the dough doesn't stick as long as you're working it fairly energetically. When it's just right, you won't need any flour on your kneading board, but the dough won't slide around while you're trying to work it.
Knead for at least 15 minutes. I try to get a good rhythm going and alternate hands, pushing it one way, then pulling back and pushing it the other way with the other hand. There's no "right" way to knead. Figure out what works for you. When it's thoroughly kneaded, the dough will start to feel kind of silky. It's hard to describe, but the consistency changes. If you pay attention, you should be able to feel the difference. Roll your dough up in a ball, and kind of orbit it around on the counter between your semi-open hands, to tighten the bottom of the ball and give it a good skin. This will help it rise.
Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with something (I usually use a little plastic wrap, loosely tucked over the dough ball). It needs a pretty warm place to rise, like 80 degrees works best. I often turn the gas on its lowest setting in the oven and leave the oven door halfway open and put the dough in there to rise. If you do this, you should also put a pan of boiling water in the bottom of the oven to give it some humidity.
Let it rise till it doubles in size, about an hour. Take the dough ball out and gently knead it for a minute. Make a new ball, and put it back in the bowl and rise again, for about half an hour.
Repeat your brief kneading one more time, and cut the dough in half. Form loaves and put each half in a buttered loaf pan. Now's when you want to start heating your oven -- set it to 400 degrees. Let the dough rise again in the loaf pans until it's sort of poofing up over the top of the pan. Then, brush the top with melted butter just before you put it in the oven. This will give it a softer and better-colored crust.
Bake for about half an hour at 400 degrees, and you can brush the crust again with melted butter right when it comes out of the oven, if you want.
I've tried a lot of white bread recipes, and this one is my personal favorite by a wide margin.
The Greatest Thing I Found On The Internet This Week: Penthouse Mirror Tube Slide While the entire home is a Wonka Factory for modern interior design geeks with a scifi fetish, this slide… this slide is like having your own wormhole/interdimensional portal exiting to the foyer. Not like. IT IS!
It's seems odd to call something hyperrealism when done at such a large scale but it's hard to argue when viewing this photographed work. Over on mental_floss check out eight other incredible master works of hyperrealism.
My Dominican barber El Gringo, his clippers and my hair meet up tomorrow, sending me on a 24 hour train ride in high barrio style.
To my wife's displeasure, this hair growing thing is less tolerable than it used to be. I really miss waking up, running my hands over a cropped tuft and hopping out the door. Sometimes, when I'm feeling fancy, I may even use a small dab of grease. Goodbye bad bed head. Hello good bed head.
Sunday after Sandy on the Hudson You wouldn't know a major storm came through here just days earlier looking at the sky and calmness of the river, but the Hudson is never this calm. It's never this empty.
I took my bike and camera for an extended tour today and it seems like the area is taking a collective breath. There were some runners and families with strollers relaxing by the water with fewer cars, lines at the gas stations or people out on the streets. It was refreshing after the sustained panic of the previous four to five days. Tomorrow is a new week. The next chapter for many of us here as we make decisions on what to rebuild, leave behind or begin something completely new.
❝Too much planning implies you've got it all under control. That's boring, unrealistic, and dangerous. It lulls you into a complacency that removes one of the artist's most valuable conditions: being pissed. Art is competitive with yourself, with the past, with the future. It is a special war zone where first you make the rules, and then you test the consequences.
Creativity is an act of defiance. You're challenging the status quo. You're questioning accepted truths and principles. You're asking three universal questions that mock conventional wisdom:
"Why do I have to obey the rules?" "Why can't I be different?" "Why can't I do it my way?"
These are the impulses that guide all creative people whether they admit it or not. Every act of creation is also an act of destruction or abandonment. Something has to be cast aside to make way for the new.❞
#ingress For those of you who may not have heard yet, Google has launched a new effort called Ingress. My theory is this will be the catalyst that brings Skynet (I mean the NIANTIC Project) and I've always said that when the day came, I would side with the machines (I mean, Shapers).
Good luck to the rest of you helping to bring a great new age of humanity.
The next few days may actually offer quality hours of reflection, to unplug (albeit involuntarily) and sit in front of a stack of beautiful, blank sketchbooks. When and if the power goes out, I'll sit on the floor, in front of that large supply of paper, open the panel curtains to our terrace, put on some large headphones and listen to John Coltrane until the battery runs out.
Is it wrong that I'm looking forward to it? Is it bad that I'm already feeling the calming effects brought on by the possibility of hours (days?) of isolation? There is something about this storm which has the little latch at the base of my skull itching to be lifted to expose my reboot switch. Which of the 9 Muses was in charge of tropical storms that hit non tropical areas?
To my fellow Jersey residents: Be calm, safe and open to inspiration.
View from the Top of Mt. Wittenberg in the Catskills, New York. This was the reward for yesterday's 7.5 mile, all day hike that included three steep rock scrambles, one person in our group hurting their ankle, your's truly falling flat on his backpack (thankfully) from slipping on wet leaves and ended with about 90 minutes of hiking in darkness. I'm sore from head to toe and back but the reward of getting to the top of a mountain is singular.
Conan the Barbarian (2012), Best Series of the Year from Dark Horse Comics illustration by Becky Cloonan
I thought about doing a top 5 list of comics but since I'm pretty stingy with my time, I didn't read that many through the year. If a book stinks or is even mediocre I'll drop it halfway through. That goes even more so for a series.
Of the ongoing series I've read Hypernaturals is a fun team superhero book, The Manhattan Projects is insane in all the right places, RAZL was fantastic, The Massive is good drama and Skullkickers is always a fun time. Conan was first a surprise and then it was just flat out fantastic. Even with having a few different artists through the first year, the relaunch has been done incredibly well.
If you're expecting a lot of the awful misogynistic ... barbarity that the sword and sorcery genre is sometimes known for (yeah, Conan would be one.), it isn't here. Love, power and inner conflict are all done incredibly right and deserving of a new audience.
Depending on the undependable. It was brutally clear during this storm. We, I, depend too much on things that can't be relied upon. Short term convenience is traded at the cost of long term dependency on items and services which can easily be lost.
As others scrambled to find a Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks that still had power, this little french press helped keep our neighbors from waiting in lines for coffee that rivaled the images seen at gas stations here throughout New Jersey. For my upstairs neighbors *(Yes the same ones with the terrible toddler and howling beagle who I complain about weekly.), hunting for a cup of coffee shouldn't be something you do when traffic lights are out and people are barely containing their fears on the roads.
They were grateful to have the energy to keep up with a 2 year old unaware of what the rest of us were dealing with and her canine partner in crime. In return, Daddy grabbed his guitar to sing her favorite nursery songs aaaaaaalllllll afternoon and I think everyone learned how to use the words: "Up" and "Down".